The Universitat will award an honorary degree to Juan Carlos Izpisúa, Juan Roig, Roger Chartier, Jürgen Baelow, and Gunnar von Heijne.

Juan Roig, Juan Carlos Izpisúa.
Juan Roig, Juan Carlos Izpisúa.

Today, the Governing Council of the Universitat de València has agreed on awarding an honorary degree to the scientist Juan Carlos Izpisúa, the businessman Juan Roig, the French historian Roger Chartier, the German jurist Jürgen Basedow, and the Swedish chemist Gunnar von Heijne.

In the Governing Council meeting, it has also been agreed that a new EHEA undergraduate degree in Business Intelligence and Analytics/BIA will be set up, as Isabel Vázquez, vice-principal of Studies and Language Policy.

Juan Carlos Izpisua

Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte (Hellín, Albacete, 1960) graduated in Pharmacy at the Universitat de València with special award. He is specialised in developmental biology and he is head of the Roger Guillemin Chair in the Gene Expression Laboratories at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.

In 2004, he helped to establish the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona and was its director until January 2014. He also earned a master's degree in Pharmacology at the Universitat de València, before moving on to complete his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Bologna (Italy) and the Universitat de València.

After carrying out postdoctoral researches in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA, he moved to the Salk Institute in 1993.

His work has been helpful in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for embryonic development when fertilization occurs until an adult organism made up of millions of cells is formed. These findings are very significant for developing new treatments against diseases, and have contributed to open up new frontiers for biomedical science in fields such as organ and tissue regeneration, and aging prevention.

Juan Roig

Juan Roig was born on October 8th, 1949 in Valencia. In 1973 he graduated in Economic and Business Sciences at the Universitat de València, and in the Global CEO Program at the IESE Business School (University of Navarra). He is the head and the main shareholder of Mercadona.

Among his credits, the Faculty of Economics emphasises the fact of turning a small family business into the main food supply chain in Spain. The development in terms of numbers and employees in these 40 years endorses that “the significant success of the model and business strategy chosen by Juan Roig since he was set up as the administrator in 1981”. In this sense, it has been estimated in a recent report from the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (IVIE) in 2017 that the total impact of Mercadona represents the 1.7% of the Spanish GDP, and in terms of employment, a 3% of the Spanish workforce.

Juan Roig is the sponsor of an institution named Marina de Empresas, where three initiatives of his own are located: EDEM Escuela de Empresarios, the Proyecto Lanzadera, and the Angels Capital.

Jürgen Basedow

Jürgen Basedow (Hamburg, 1949) is the head of the Mark Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, and professor in that German city. From 2004 to 2008, Basedow was the president of the German Monopoly Commission. Between 1969 and 1974, he studied in the universities of Hamburg, Geneva, and Pavia. He has been professor in Ausburg, where he was dean in 1993 and 1994; in Berlin; and in the Mark Planck in Hamburg.

The investigation of Basedows is centred around international private law, private law and European commerce (especially the right to competition), transport and traffic law and safety rights. He was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal by the Max Planck Society in 1979. He holds an honorary degree by the University of Stocklohm and an honorary chair by the University of Jiaoton Xi'an. In 2012, Leuphana University Lüneburg and Tbilisi State University awarded him with an honorary degree.

Gunnar von Heijne

Nils Gunnar Hansson von Heijne (Gothenburg, 1951) is a researcher in the Centre for Biomembrane Research at the University of Stockholm. He graduated in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He later studied theoretical physics in KTH, in a research group focused around stadistical mechaniscs and theoretical biophysics. He became a professor in theorical biophysic in KTH in 1983, where he stayed until 1988. Between 1982 and 1985 he worked as a scientific reporter in “Sveriges Radio”. From 1989 until 1994 he was part of the Karolinska Institutet until he was appointed professor of theoretical chemistry at the University of Stockton.

His research focuses on the proteins of the membrane. He is one of the most cited Swedish scientists in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology. In 2012, he was awarded by the International Society of Computational Biology. Von Heijne is member of the Real Academy of Science of Sweden since 1997 and he was a member of the Nobel Committee of Chemistry from 2001 until 2009.

Roger Chartier

Roger Chartier (Lyon, 1945) is a French historian, member of the fourth generation of the Annales School. He is specialised in cultural history, to which he has integrated the results of studies and research of academic spaces such as the history of books and edition, the means of production and circulation of texts, the space of accumulative written memory, which are seen as power and sociability spaces, and the practises related to usage and enjoyment of books.

The usage of Spanish literature as a source of historical analysis has turned him into a master of research in the history of literature, especially that of the Golden Age. Great Spanish scholars such as Francisco Rico, who has studied unheard-of aspect of El Quijote and Quevedo, Góngora, Lope de Vega and Cervantes’ texts, have recognised Chartier’s scientific contribution.

Since the beginning of the 1980, professor Chartier has had a close intellectual relationship with some Spanish universities. In the case of the University of Valencia, he has had an intense and fruitful intellectual contact with several research groups of the Faculty of Geography and History.

Institutional condolences

In its report, the recto has expressed her condolences for the recent passing of people associated with the University of Valencia: Josep Fontana, who held an honorary degree by the University of Valencia; Joaquín Navasquillo, retired professor of Applied Physics and Electromagnitism; José Vicente Bañuls, professor of Greek Philology; Xesqui Castañer, professor of Art History; and student Andrea Callau, a 2017 graduate on Economy.

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